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Thursday 9 February 2012

Iran's parliament summons Ahmadinejad for questioning over a longlist of accusations

Iran's parliament summons Ahmadinejad for questioning over a longlist of accusations

Iran's parliament summons Ahmadinejad

By NASSER KARIMI, Associated Press - 18 hours ago

TEHRAN, Iran (AP) - Iran's parliament on Tuesday decided to summon President
Mahmoud Ahmadinejad for questioning over a long list of accusations,
including that he mismanaged the nation's economy.

The summons was the first of its kind for an Iranian president since 1979.
It follows a petition by a group of lawmakers for a review of policy
decisions by Ahmadinejad, who has come under increasing attacks in recent
months from the same hard-liners who brought him to power.

It is also part of a power struggle on the Iranian political scene ahead of
March 2 parliamentary elections and the 2013 presidential vote.

Mohammad Reza Bahnoar, the parliament deputy speaker, said lawmakers have
demanded that Ahmadinejad answer a slew of questions on the economy,
including purportedly bypassing a special budget for the Tehran subway and
public transportation.

He is also to be queried about foreign and domestic policy decisions.

"There is a requirement for the president to answer questions in an open
session of the parliament," said Bahnoar, whose parliament speech was
broadcast live on Iranian state radio.

A letter containing the summons is to be sent to Ahmadinejad in next two
days, according to the parliament statement. Under Iranian law, he has up to
appear in parliament after one month. It's unclear what would happen if
Ahmadinejad fails to appear before parliament.

Ahmadinejad will also be asked why he "hesitated for 11 days" to act on a
demand Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei to reinstate intelligence
minister, Heidar Moslehi, who was sacked by Ahmadinejad in 2011, and to
elaborate on his snap dismissal of former foreign minister, Manouchehr
Mottaki, during a trip to Africa.

The power struggle has pitted Ahmadinejad against Khamenei, who has final
say on all state matters in Iran. Ahmadinejad and his policies have been the
target of criticism by lawmakers, clerics as well as state-run media.

Other questions that will be put to the president include those about Iran's
slacking economic growth, and why his administration failed to promote the
Islamic dress code that calls for women to wear the traditional veil.
Lawmakers behind the initiative allege Ahmadinejad promoted Iranian
nationalism instead of Islamic values.

According to the statement, Ahmadinejad is also to explain his ties to
Esfandiar Rahim Mashaei, whose daughter is married to the president's son.
Ahmadinejad's opponents content he is trying to push Mashei for president
after his own term expires next year

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